DANCE is FUN and Exciting. Get in shape, meet new friends while enjoying yourself.
These are dances we teach. Descriptions are shown below the list.
• Ballroom and Latin Workout
• Cha Cha
• Salsa Samba
|• Swing-East Coast
• Swing-West Coast
• Tango and Argentine Tango
• Two Step
|• Nightclub 2-Step
• Viennese Waltz
Bachata - The Bachata, a guitar-based trio (guitar, bongo, maraca), from the Dominican Republic, shares with it's audience a country/peasant/barrio sentimentality marked by bawdy humor that connects the celebration of food, love and a macho delight in elaborating upon the ability of women to overpower men. It emerged mostly in male public spaces (colmados/corner grocers and bars) rather than family spaces, thus explaining the gender distinctiveness of this musical form. It is sung by mostly male performers, crooning about love and the women who caused them pain and wronged them, often because of unrequited or relinquished love. Only recently admitted into mainstream Latin music (in the past 10 years) by the well-respected Dominical merenguero, Juan Luis Guerra, has the once black sheep of Dominican music been brought into the forefront so that all social and economic levels can now begin to enjoy the lilting Bachata.
Ballroom and Latin Workout - This aerobics class uses ballroom and Latin dance moves from Samba, Viennese Waltz, Salsa, Tango, Cha Cha, Jive, Quickstep, and Slow Waltz to improve endurance and technique. Also includes a standing abdominal workout to improve core strength and stability. Options for high or low impact are provided so everyone can achieve the maximum benefit for their level. Please wear comfortable clothing and dance sneakers.
Bolero - Originally a Spanish dance in ¾ time, it was changed in Cuba, initially into 2/4 time, then eventually into 4/4. It is now presented as a very slow type of Rumba rhythm. The music is frequently arranged with Spanish vocals and a subtle percussion effect, usually using Congas or Bongos.
Cha Cha - Originally an offshoot of the Mambo, the Cha Cha was the rage in the 50's and is probably the most popular social Latin dance in America. It has an infectious rhythm that has been used by many musicians, even those who are not traditionally thought of as Latin -- even some Beatles songs, and a lot of disco music! The rhythmical "split beat" of the Cha Cha and the many open movements add surety and poise to your dancing style.
Fox Trot - The Foxtrot has been America's most popular dance since 1913. Introduced by a Vaudevillian named Harry Fox, it quickly became the standard of social dancing. Foxtrot is a great dance for beginners, as it teaches the novice variety, maneuverability, and how to combine steps easily. The music for Foxtrot is any slow to moderately slow Big Band or pop music song, or "slow dance". Most pop music is written in four/four timing, which is Foxtrot's rhythm (four beats to a measure of music). The mantra for Foxtrot is the classic dance teacher's phrase: "Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick". Much of our popular music is Foxtrot music, and it's a nice, slow, easy dance during which a couple can even have a pleasant conversation. This is the classic dance for wedding receptions and social events, and wedding couples usually choose either a Foxtrot or a Waltz to be their first dance together, predicting a lifetime of slow, easy, romantic cuddling (we hope)!
Hustle - The 70's dance that is enjoying a huge resurgence. It's the hottest thing in the big city clubs of New York and Washington DC. Come have fun dancing to today's disco. Remember the '70's? John Travolta in the white polyester suit in Saturday Night Fever? Well, that was the Hustle, but just like a lot of other things have changed in the last 20 years, the Hustle has changed a lot, too. The Hustle was born in New York's Latin community. Young Latinos were born in a culture where dancing together was the norm, but they wanted to dance to more contemporary music than the Mambo of their parents. Slowly the Latin Hustle was developed and emerged as a club style. The mainstream young people caught on to the music, and the dance style, and Hustle quickly became hugely popular, all over America and Europe, fueled in part by the movie. As hustle developed, many different styles emerged. In the late '70's, with the emergence of punk rock and the anti-disco movement, the hustle faded in popular culture -- but it never died! The hustle fanatics of the '70's never gave up on the dance, and it retained a cult popularity at underground clubs through the '80's. During this time, hustle kept developing and changing, and the hustle that is danced today bears little resemblance to the hustle of the '70's. Hustle is danced to the contemporary pop dance music of the last 20 years. It is a fast, smooth dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away. It is a challenging dance, with a rhythmic pattern which plays with the timing of the music, rather that following it exactly. Hustle is considered an Authentic Style dance, and DanceSport is one of the places where Hustle stays alive and keeps growing. Many of the original Hustle dancers of the New York hustle scene continue to come to our Monday night Hustle party, where some of the best dancing in NY is on display, especially late in the evening.
Jive - High speed rock and roll! This dance is the European version of East Coast swing. Six and eight count patterns make up this dance, but it is quite bouncy with very sharp kicks and flicks. Unlike East Coast Swing, Jive is danced to a faster tempo swing music. We will be covering the pre-bronze & bronze syllabus such as American Spins and Changing Places.
Merengue - Merengue is a simple, fun dance with origins in the Dominican Republic. The simple march tempo is easy to hear and feel, and lends itself to a spontaneous, improvisational style of dance. The music is charming and happy, and often contains clever jokes or puns in Spanish. Learning the Merengue is a good way to start familiarizing yourself with Cuban Motion, which is the way that your body moves in all the Latin dances. Our , Salsa, Merengue classes spend half the class time on the Merengue, and the other half on the Salsa.
Quickstep - As the name implies, the Quickstep is a very quick and lively dance, comprised of hops, skips and kicks. Although the music for Quickstep sounds like a fast Foxtrot, it is actually considered to be a marriage between the Waltz and the Charleston! The dance features both the light, airy foot movements of the Charleston and the "floating through space" of the Waltz. We teach Social Quickstep and Foxtrot together in the same class due to the similarity of the music, and on a social level, many people dance Quickstep as a fast Foxtrot. Quickstep is an International style competitive dance.
Rumba - Originally, the Rumba was a lively, peppy dance similar to Mambo in its feel. Over the years it has changed, and is now the name of a slow and romantic Latin dance. Inspired by African rhythms and Latin melodies, the Americanized version of the Cuban Rumba is the basis for the Mambo and Cha Cha. The Rumba is a pre-requisite for good Latin dancing, and helps sharpen your sense of rhythm, timing and muscle control.
Salsa - Salsa has most of its roots from Cuba but additional spice “ingredients” have been added to the “sauce” from various Hispanic cultures. Salsa is danced to exhilarating Afro-Caribbean dance rhythms in Latin/Latin Jazz music. However, the dance is not danced as fast as the Mambo, although, there are many similarities between the two dances.
Samba - Samba is a Latin dance with origins in Brazil. In Brazil, there are many different types of Samba, including more elegant Salon dancing, and the wild, uninhibited popular dancing associated with Carnival. Carmen Miranda is generally credited with bringing Brazilian rhythms to the United States and Europe, and since then the Samba has undergone a metamorphosis, as the steps became stylized and standardized. Samba has very distinctive and varied rhythms occurring simultaneously within every song, which helps to build richness in the music and excitement in the listening. It is often called the "South American Waltz", as it features a "rise and fall" type of motion which is associated with waltz.
Shag - Shag is done mostly to slow tempo music (100-150 bpm). During the dance the upper body and hips always move as the legs do convoluted kicks and fancy footwork. The lead is the center of attention, and the follow's steps either mirror the lead's or mark time while the lead shows off with spins and other gyrations. Carolina Shag is the state dance of North Carolina and South Carolina, and is still popular amongst residents of both states. Beginners can learn the basics or just brush up so you can join the fun at the beach. You'll learn the Basic, Pro basic, Male Underarm Turn, Female Underarm Turn, Trail, Triple Basic and the Belly Roll. The Intermediate Class will learn the Point, Brush, Daddy Rabbit, Double Wiggle as well as some new ideas from SOS.
Swing - East Coast - The Swing swept across the US in the early’30s and was very poplar through the ‘40s (Remember “Swing Kids”, the recent movie about World War II times?). Characterized by a carefree, relaxed style, the Swing soon came to represent a whole generation and time, when Big Band music was popular and musicians were judged by how well their music could “Swing”. Single step, double step and triple step versions make Swing a dance easily adaptable to a variety of tempos of music, from moderately slow to very fast. Swing is a highly adaptable dance, going equally well with Big Band type music, rock-and-roll music and many Motown songs. Swing music is generally up-tempo and bouncy (The same music style, at a slower tempo, is danced as a Foxtrot).
Swing - West Coast - West Coast Swing has certain similarities to Swing, but also has some distinct differences. West Coast Swing is a slotted form of swing dance typically done to blues, country, funk and contemporary music. This type of swing is known for its smoothness and ability to “hit the breaks” (dancing to the accents in the music). This dance consists of six and eight count patterns, which are done in a slot. The woman no longer rocks back as in East Coast swing, but instead she always walks forward on count one. This dance is usually done to medium tempo swing music, frequently slower than East Coast swing. It has no bounce and a very smooth feel. Rarely will you see high kicks or moves which require the dancer to leave the floor.
Tango and Argentine Tango - The tango is, in music and prose, an expression of passionate feelings of love, joy, sorrow and nostalgia. Because these are universal feelings, the tango has crossed cultural lines and has captivated audiences and dancers for decades. Born over 100 years ago, it is a dance without a defined choreography. Each couple improvises as their steps are taken precisely, dancing to the melody and stepping to the rhythm together as one. It is the man's role to lead his partner and it is her role to surrender and follow his lead. It is this shared intimacy, if only for a few minutes, that captivates and challenges those of us who have fallen in love with this dance. In this class you will learn some of the most basic steps that will allow you to navigate the dance floor. We will show you how to listen to the music, and using what you have learned, you will be able to express yourself with elegance and style. Tango was the romantic rage of the 1920’s in the U.S., introduced to the millons by the silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino in “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”. Born in the West Indies and stylized by the gauchos of Argentina, simmered in the brothels of Buenos Aires and brought to a boil in the elegant salons of Paris, the Tango is considered a “dancer’s dance”. Its unique rhythms offer fabulous training for timing and footwork, building a foundation useful in any dance. It has recently become an amazingly popular dance here in America, due first to Al Pacino (of DanceSport fame!) and his sensitive rendition of a blind dancer in “Scent of a Woman” a few years ago, and then to the many Broadway shows that have featured tango in recent years (Tango Argentina, Tango x 2, Forever Tango, etc.). Madonna’s ‘Evita” features tango dancing, and Julio Iglesias is promoting his tango album. Social Tango is not as intensely intimate as argentine Tango, as the dancers maintain regular social dance hold. In Argentine Tango, the dancers are often cheek to cheek, and this effect, coupled with intricate leg intertwining, gives Argentine Tango a much more sensual feel than American (Social) Tango. Both American and International are also competitive styles of dance. Although it originated in Latin countries, American or International style Tango is not considered a “Latin” dance as it does not feature Cuban motion. It is considered a “Smooth” or Ballroom dance, as dancers hold themselves erect and swing their legs from the hip, as with Foxtrot or the Waltz.
Two Step - Two step is the extremely popular country dance done to upbeat country music.
Two step isn't just for people who wear boots!
Nightclub 2-Step - A romantic dance that is easy to learn and suitable for many types of slow music including top 40, country, R&B, and easy listening. Night Club Two Step was initially developed by Buddy Schwimmer in the mid-1960s. The dance is also known as "Two Step" and was "one of the most popular forms of contemporary social dance" as a Disco Couples Dance in 1978. It is frequently danced to mid-tempo ballads in 4/4 time that have a characteristic Quick-Quick-Slow beat. A classic example is the song Lady In Red.
Viennese Waltz - Viennese Waltz has step patterns adapted to a faster tempo of music. The Waltz helps dancers to develop balance and control. With practice, correct posture, and rise and fall motion, the flowing movement of the dance can be developed and enjoyed.
Waltz - Waltz is an extremely popular dance. It might be the most popular dance of all time, since it is considered the forerunner of popular social dancing. Developed in Southern Germany in the 17th Century, Waltz's popularity as a social dance blossomed with the music of Johann Strauss (think of the Blue Danube, and other famous waltzes). Before the advent of the Waltz, proper society people did not hold each other in an embrace while dancing - only the lower classes did such an improper thing! However, people gradually found that holding a partner around the waist did not immediately lead to a life of sin, and the Waltz became a staple dance for Kings and Queens as well as common folk. The Waltz is still a very common dance all around the world. Waltz music has a distinctive one-two-three tempo (three beats to a measure of music) and is very commonly played at weddings and other social events.
Zumba - Zumba is a dance fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez in Colombia during the 1990s. The program combines Latin and international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun. The Zumba workout provides fitness benefits because its routines feature interval training sessions with fast and slow rhythms and resistance training, which are intended to tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Music is the key ingredient to Zumba classes. The score, created with specific beats and tempo changes, transitions the workout from one toning, strengthening or cardio move to another, thus targeting every major muscle group in the body. The Zumba program borrows Latin flavor from the following dance styles: Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Mambo, Flamenco, Chachacha, Reggaeton, Samba, Bellydancing, Bhangra, Hip hop music, Axé music and Tango.
“I came to A Step to Gold four months ago to learn to dance. I want to familiarize myself with a variety of social dances to allow for comfort and skill on the dance floor. I learned that I might just be able to pull off this dancing thing.” - Anthony Angelini, Clinical Researcher
“ I’ve learned Cha Cha and Foxtrot, and can't wait to conquer a few more. They have fulfilled a dream of mine ...." mary b, raleigh